DOCS removed child by mistake

The State Opposition says mistakes made by the Department of Community Services over the removal of a young girl from her family should have been fixed earlier.

The Opposition's community services spokeswoman Pru Goward says a five year old girl was wrongly removed from her family and the mistake was only rectified after the intervention of the deputy ombudsman.

"This is a serious miscarriage of justice its a great abuse of power," she said.

The NSW Community Services Minister Linda Burney has admitted mistakes were made, but says earlier intervention wasn't possible due to the matter being before the children's court.

"I've never come across a case in child protection in the time I've been minister that isn't complex and multi-layered," she said.

Ms Burney says the girl is back with her family, the department has made a full apology.

She says talks are being held regarding a compensation payout.

"Look I'm very confident that this has been taken seriously which is why we're making an ex-gratia payment which is why the child has been returned to her family," she said.

The minister says better training will be provided for DOCS managers in the future.

"That's why we've made an unreserved apology it's also why we've initiated major training reform in terms of managers giving evidence to the children's court."

Source : http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2010-07-27/docs-removed-child-by-mistake/920972?pfmredir=sm

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